Freewill and Divine Omniscience


The question, “If God is omniscient, then how can there be freewill?” is an ancient theological paradox. For freewill implies that the next move by a conscious entity is as yet undetermined, and could be one of many possibilities, depending on the FREE exercise of judgment by that entity. If this “capacity for free exercise of judgment prior to an action” (which is what free-will is) has been given to the human being by God, then God cannot and should not know what the actions of humans would be prior to their performance, especially if God is to judge and reward/punish human beings on the basis of their actions based on their own free will. If God is thus aware, how can God be considered omniscient?
This paradox arises from not recognizing what I have called elsewhere the hypercomplex level of reality. At the hypercomplex level, events occur, not simply by the operation of the usual physical forces, but also from thought processes. Thus, whereas the motion of a projectile is governed solely by physical forces, the initial magnitude and direction of motion of a football is determined by a decision on the part of the ball player. Events of this kind occur only in the hypercomplex level at which thought/decisions come into play. As a result, events at this level are utterly unpredictable.
The omniscience of God refers to knowledge and phenomena at the usual physical (classical and quantum) levels, but not at the hypercomplex level: Not because God is ignorant, but because God chose to create a hypercomplex level with such a property, perhaps because it is very interesting and has great potential for continuous creativity.

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About Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.
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